The Macao SAR Government has introduced a series of vocational training courses, covering skills useful respectively in hospitality, retail, and food and beverage. The courses are run by the Labour Affairs Bureau as part of a bigger push by the authorities to improve vocational training for Macao workers, to help them find jobs amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Labour Affairs Bureau introduced the new vocational training scheme in March. On completion of a course, each trainee is eligible for a grant of up to MOP6,656.
The training courses are meant for unemployed residents of Macao and for hospitality workers that have had their incomes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes workers in tourism – such as tour guides, taxi drivers and coach drivers – and workers in the meetings and exhibitions industry.
Employers are invited to attend the training sessions to find out what the trainees are learning and what skills they are acquiring. The goal is to help businesses find the right job candidates for their needs.
The Labour Affairs Bureau goes further, matching trainees with job vacancies, so the trainees can move swiftly from the classroom to the workplace. Integrated resort operators in Macao have helped by making available more than 2,600 positions for cleaners, waiters, receptionists, security guards, chefs and maintenance workers.
The first phase of the programme saw 340 places available in 17 courses, covering skills useful in the construction and building maintenance industries.
The bureau began taking applications for a second batch of courses in April. Altogether, 860 places were created for would-be workers in the food and beverage, hotel, construction and building maintenance industries.
The hospitality-related courses covered: Chinese cuisine; Western cuisine; Chinese pastries and desserts; Western pastries and desserts; Chinese and Western restaurant service; hotel front desk operations; hotel security; hotel room services; and casino security.
The application period for a third batch of courses was in May, offering an additional 800 places. Training was made available respectively in food and beverage, retail, personal care services and building maintenance.
Between 26 May and 4 June, the Labour Affairs Bureau hosted a total of seven matching sessions between participants in the vocational training courses and potential employers. Participants included trainees in the hospitality-related courses. Out of a total 253 people joining the matching sessions, 157 were able to secure a job offer.
| Free training for tourist guides, small business owners|
Institutions of higher education in Macao are offering free training to people working in the tourism sector, including tourist guides, to help them cope with difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tourism Education and Training Base for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area started in March a series of online seminars for tourist guides. On 31 March, two free online seminars – themed “Improving Tourism Service Quality” and “Learning, Reflecting on, and Practising New Tourism Academic Knowledge” – were held, attracting an aggregate online audience of about 300 tourist guides in the Greater Bay Area.
The seminars are meant to let workers in tourism improve their abilities during the slump in business caused by the pandemic.
The Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) is – as a public-sector body working on behalf of the Macao SAR Government – coordinating efforts regarding the Tourism Education and Training Base for the Greater Bay Area. The latter body was officially launched in December, with the approval of the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China. It aims to deliver specialist training to contribute to the development of the Greater Bay Area as a tourism destination.
The University of Macau Centre for Continuing Education is giving specialist training to representatives of small- or medium-sized enterprises in Macao. The university has so far put on six courses, respectively in: marketing and service strategy; crisis management and leadership; fundamental finance and accounting practice; human resources and organisational management; tourism hospitality management and gaming industry development; and food and beverage management in the tourism industry. A place on one of the courses originally cost MOP3,900, but are now offered for free.
In addition, the University of Macau Faculty of Business Administration and the Macao branch of Bank of China jointly arranged an online workshop for owners of SMEs in Macao, which was held on 18 April. The seminar, “Coping Strategies in Anti-Epidemic Environment”, drew dozens of people. It was the first of a series of online workshops for SME owners. A second workshop, on “Online Operations for SMEs and Electronic Payments”, was held on 27 May.
| Online video series to help enhance expertise of catering professionals|
The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) began posting online on 5 May sets of video lectures intended to teach catering workers about occupational safety, hospitality skills and other useful information. MGTO hopes the videos can contribute to the continuing education of catering professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic: the video lectures are designed to enhance the competitiveness of the workforce, improve service in the catering business in Macao and advance the development of Macao as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.
The videos are being posted in stages at the Macao Tourism Industry Net between May and September at the rate of two per month. The videos teach various subjects of practical use in the catering industry. Subjects include food safety, occupational safety, fundamental service skills for use in restaurants, star-rated service skills, and culinary knowledge about ingredients and cuisines. Most of the lectures are in Cantonese, while some are in both Cantonese and Mandarin.
Five series with different themes make up the video collection. The first two sets of video lectures posted in May were respectively about Macanese cuisine, and wine knowledge and serving skills. Catering professionals and interested parties may watch the videos by clicking the link reading “Industry Training – Online Course” at the Macao Tourism Industry Net (http://industry.macaotourism.gov.mo).
Sponsored by MGTO, the videos are produced by the United Association of Food and Beverage Merchants of Macao.
MGTO is providing the videos to present opportunities for continuing education for people in the trade and to enhance their expertise during the pandemic. The Office encourages employees and would-be employees of the catering industry to equip themselves for careers that offer brighter prospects. The initiative also aims to steer the catering industry toward diversification and professionalism, creating high-quality experiences for travellers.